Black Rat Press stunning lighting rig came into its own this past Thursday when the new three-person show “Ways of Seeing” opened. Featuring new work from Swoon (interviewed), Brian Adam Douglas a.k.a. Elbow-Toe (interviewed) and Matt Small (interviewed), the vibrancy and luminosity of the colors of Douglas’ and Small’s work was really highlighted by the controlled approach to lighting against the brickwork backdrop of the gallery. More after the jump…

AM left the show discussing the phrase “urban portraiture” and what it meant to us after seeing these three artists grouped together in a gallery setting.

Swoon was not at the opening, but her life sized woodcut portraits were stunning to see. Although some of the imagery used has been seen previously, she presented it in a different context for this show.

Matt Small thrilled us with his new works painted on his trademark found pieces of metal. His build-up of layers and the texture in his paint has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Matt was in good spirits at the opening, taking time to greet friends old and new.

The level of complexity and layering in Elbow-Toe’s work was a sight to behold. One cannot imagine the amount of hours that went into the creation of some of the pieces in the show. Amongst his pieces were a stunning self-portrait diptych of himself and his wife, plus portraits of other friends such as NYC photographer Luna Park, Michael De Feo and Veng from Robots Will Kill.

The Elbow-Toe name seems to be now preserved for his imaginative street work, whilst his full name is reserved for gallery showings. Brian told AM that he had been out the entire night putting up street pieces only to find that the majority had been buffed by the Council the very next morning. Be sure to check out a full set of pictures of Elbow-Toe’s London street work here as most of them are now gone forever.

Photos from s.butterfly (AM:UK).
Discuss Elbow-Toe / Brian Adam Douglas here.
Discuss Matt Small here.
Discuss Swoon here.